It cuts the space like a knife. It’s not exactly an overtly violent act, but there is the just that slight bit of violence that all the necessary and profound things possess. We could begin by stating that the pieces by António Bolota work in an incisive fashion, even though they are often even discrete when seen on site. Moreover, all of his pieces are built in response to one specific site. But we would run the risk of giving the wrong impression. For, when the carefully chosen materials turn into a piece, at that moment, the distinction between the space and the piece itself ceases to exist. The object and the spot are all the same place. There is absolutely no distinction between what is inside or outside of the object. Even if the sculpture, or the installation or the video or the action lasts just one minute, during that minute, the work is the location.
For the exhibition at A Certain Lack of Coherence, António Bolota places a sort of grid a series of pillars that appear to support the ceiling. These pillars, massive wooden beams (clearly a cross section of a tree) have been burn. They appear to be ruins, pieces of charcoal, or the subterranean underbelly of a fallen city. This placement, which is far from innocent, reminds us of the foundation of a city, a city which, irrespective of its power above the ground, has rotten foundations. It is impossible to escape the analogy of the city where the piece is displayed, the foundations in ruins behind the granite facades. As is Venice, other cities are also sinking.
With its underground rhythm, as if it were a cryptoporticus, the piece unfolds within the irregular floor plan of A Certain Lack of Coherence. It’s as if a landscape were covered with grids and pillars. The columns link the floor with the ceiling which denies them space enough to be seen as either objects or pieces of art. They now make up part of the building itself. Even though they lack any functional role in supporting the building, these pillars, in the redundancy of their location in the street, support a ceiling that is heaving, a non-existent weight that can be felt as atmospheric pressure or as the pressure of the profound, squeezing against your chest.
Sculptures and buildings coexist within the same tension, for an indeterminate period of time, in the immanence of ruins.